Apple’s latest smartphone—the iPhone X—has stormed retailers, and in many ways, it’s a hit. The phone’s unique design allows more screen to fit into a smaller area, Apple’s new A11 processor makes it run smooth, and a facial recognition system has replaced the fingerprint scanner of previous models. However, some of these new features are being met with skepticism, and a few intrepid consumers and companies are out to prove that the iPhone X is not as secure as it seems.
Apple’s latest phone ditches the fingerprint scanner for something the company says is more secure, a facial recognition system. The makers of the iPhone X have dubbed this feature Face ID, but some consumers and companies are having a tough time buying Apple’s claims that the system is indeed secure.
A husband and wife in Long Island had just received their new iPhones when their son entered the room and jokingly tried to unlock his mother’s phone. To their astonishment, the iPhone X actually unlocked. They released a YouTube video showing off the hacked security measure, but they are not alone.
A Vietnamese security company claims that it too foiled the Face ID system—this time by using a 3D printed mask, fitted with a silicone nose and printed paper parts. In the company’s video, the mask and phone are set in stands, and when the iPhone is activated, it scans the mask and unlocks.
More consumers have flooded the internet with their own claims of defeating Apple’s new biometric system. This has forced the company to admit that relatives who look alike, and identical twins, may actually be able to fool the Face ID system. And that’s not all.
Some have begun to wonder if the system could easily be fooled by simply pointing the phone at its owner when they are not aware of it. This could allow unauthorized parties to use your iPhone or steal information from it. For attorneys planning to use the iPhone X for their practice, this could present problems.
Private messages between attorneys and their clients could be exposed, violating attorney-client privilege. Emails from clients could be leaked, and lawyers not averse to espionage may come away with vital information. Some have even speculated that government authorities could use these biometric spoofs to gain access to a phone without the owner’s consent.
Of course, any information gained by law enforcement without a warrant or court order would probably be inadmissible in court, and information acquired by opposing counsel in such an unethical manner would also be off limits in court. However, sometimes simply knowing the background information of opposing counsel can give an attorney s a strategic advantage in court, meaning that this biometric flaw could still endanger a firm’s case work.
In this age of information, there are plenty of illegal ways to exploit such a security flaw. This could prevent the adoption of the iPhone X in legal circles, but could flaws in Face ID signal a much bigger problem with biometric security systems? The implications could stretch beyond just a simple smartphone.
Brought to you by the experienced IT professionals at Exactify.IT—technology services for attorneys, by attorneys.